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  • What other cars...

    Currently, and/or in the past, was other cars have you guys owned (namely the fun ones)?

    And, one more question, if there were other considerations when contemplating the "Lotus 7" purchase, what were they?

    Would love to hear!

  • #2
    Mustang Mach 1, Griffith S200 (terrifying straight line speed), Porsche 911S, Alfa GTV, BMW 2002tii, Audi Quattro coupe, Acura NSX, and some others that were less fun.

    When I decided to buy a 7 there was nothing else to consider. Either you're going there, OR ya ain't!!!!!


    • #3
      Griffith S200? That's a new one for me... Quite a list there Roll a 7! Thanks for sharing.


      • #4
        Like Brad, I too had an Alfa GTV ('69 w/ a built 2.0L and some suspension work), but that went after it stood effectively dormant for the first year that I owned the Westfield. My daily driver for the last 9 years remains one of my all time favorite cars: a tweaked 944 turbo. Once it broke 130k miles a couple of years ago, I decided it was time for something newer, so I bought a BMW M Coupe. However, that car proved a big disappointment, so it went and the Porsche stayed. Ive also had a BMW 2002, a normally aspirated 944, a CRX, and a CRX-Si with all the Jackson Racing goodies -- fun, fun car. The oddest car I've owned was also my first: a Renault R17 Gordini. When the head gasket blew, I decided to have the engine modified to rally specs (hey, as long as you're in there...) which was my indoctrination into the world of twin DCOEs -- something every enthusiast should experience at leat once. I'm currently at 3 and counting :D

        As for other considerations when I bought the se7en, there was only one: Lotus Elan.

        Westfield SEiW
        2.0L Duratec
        Throttle Steer


        • #5
          I think it's sort of cool to see how you guys all got here!

          I've heard a couple folks say that they weren't so happy with the M Coupe now. I was contemplating one for a while myself...

          I know someone is going to say an Elise prettty soon... :wink:


          • #7
            In about 1963 or '64 a Ford dealer in Syosset, NY, I think, looked at a TVR and surmised that he could just about shoehorn a 289 Ford into the engine bay. So, with a bit of yankee ingenuity Mr. Griffith (Jack?) started doing it and selling them. The car weighed 1450 pounds and mine put out about 225 HP. This considerably motivated the vehicle in a warplike forward dimension. However. stopping and turning was an entirely different kettle of fish. Skinny 1965 Michelins were not always up to the task. But, big excitement was always on tap!!

            According to legend the cars had some successes in racing until some other guy who was doing something similar with Brit chassis and Ford power alledgedly suggested that the big F should choose between the two of them once and for all. Later Griffith cars utilized Mopar power. About 200-250 were made.

            Mine was BRG and referred to as the "Frog" by friends because they thought it resembled a frog getting ready to jump. It was not quite beautiful...

            The preceding should be taken as legend/mythology surrounding the cars rather than as historical fact. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental and positively unintentional.


            • #8
              I've heard a couple folks say that they weren't so happy with the M Coupe now. I was contemplating one for a while myself...
              I know a number of people who think they are fantastic cars, but I just don't see it. The basic platform was designed as a low-powered convertible for people who wanted that sporty look, rather than an autocross champion. Consequently there is a lot of "form over function" in the design and it was also never meant to have the amount torque available from the 3.2L straight six. Not only is traction abysmal even with the LSD, but lately there have been a number of reports of tearing rear floor pans! If you are interested, scroll down the M coupe section of my Comparison page to read how it compares to the Porsche. BTW the brake difference I describe between the cars was a result of glazed rotors on the Porsche, not superior braking of the BMW.

              Westfield SEiW
              2.0L Duratec
              Throttle Steer


              • #9
                1965 Lotus Cortina Mk I - white w/ green flash. "The Tuna". To this day perhaps the most fondly remembered of all.
                1969 Lotus Elan S5Se "Fixed Head Coupe" - that one was a smog era car w/ Strombergs.
                1964 Lotus Elan S2 in original French racing blue. A farmer punted into this one. Arrrrgh.
                1965 Lotus Cortina Mk I - ditto. Sold to a another Lotus nut, fortunately.
                1987 Porsche 944 S2 "16 Ventiler". 600+ miles on a tank o gas as 90 mph.
                1995 Acura NSX T - a great, great car, except for the whole toe-in isssue.
                1998 BMW E36 M3 Sedan - dollar for dollar and pound for pound the most balanced (economy, handling, power, practicality etc.) car I have ever owned. Absolutely NOT going to be sold, ever.
                2001 BMW E39 M5 Sedan - A great car in all ways, just waaay too much car for the American road. Heavy and too isolating from its amazingly high capacity for the driver. Es ist nur fur die Authbahn.

                And finally, after all the years of waiting, The Blatter. I POWDERED a 993 twin turbo yesterday. When we came to a stop, he rolled down the window and asked "What the hell is that, anyway? Head and shoulders above the best car thing I've ever done. Building, & driving.

                In the immortal words of one Magnus Feuer: Totally Caterham Damaged

                Once you've Gone Blat, you can never go back!

                P.S.: The only M Coupe to get is a 2002 w/ the newest (333 hp) S54 engine. W/ only a couple hundred made it's sure to hold & possibly even gain value. But, uh, can't stand em myself...
                A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


                • #10
                  An Elise may be mentioned, but it's a rather conventional and civilized ride for a 7 enthusiast. Too high off the ground and needs to shed 500-700 pounds..... But, it really is a stunning achievement in the context of the modern sports car world!! CC would proudly put his name on the Elise!! 8)


                  • #11
                    Now, I know that I am going to lose a lot of reputation but before I got the Birkin I had only absolutely weird or boring cars...You may find out that I was always on the thrifty side.

                    - after I got my license I could drive my mom's NSU "Prinz" (air-cooled 2-cylinder rear engine, 600cc, 30hp, VERY small). I had my first accident with it :P Against a city bus :shock:
                    - during my army time I had an NSU 1000C (air-cooled 4-cylinder rear engine, 1000cc, 40hp, a little more space). Well what can you expect for the equivalent of $250? Actually that car was at the time pretty sporty and I did some rallys with it.
                    - in college I had a Peugeot 304 coupe. Forgot how much power but it was the worst piece of French Engineering I have seen. But it was water cooled!!
                    - Later I had a Talbot/Simca Horizon. Looked like a Golf knock-off, some 85 hp and had automatic transmission. What can I say....It took me wherever I needed to go.
                    - The Mazda 1000 lasted only a few month. It came with half the car's value worth of spare parts. Ridiculously cheap at the time but it rusted rapidly from the moment it left the dealers' lot. It always reminded me of a rusted trash bin. Amazing how far Mazda got in the last 25 or 30 years.
                    - Had a Renault 4 (modern equivalent of the Citroen 2CV in the 70's) and a Renault 5 (hated the car).
                    - I think the first decent car I had was a Peugeot 205 Diesel. Still small but very economic and surprisingly quick. End speed was about 110 mph and even towing a catamaran it was good for 80 mph. I ended up buying another one after a thorough accident.
                    - Next was a Renault 25 Turbo Diesel. Great family car. Not exciting but comfortable, economic, spacious, reliable and reasonably fast. I sometimes regret that I had to sell it before moving to the US.
                    - Drove the '92 Taurus company car for a while. Oh well.....
                    - Got a '94 Mitsubishi Galant. Yeah, I still have it.... all windows motors are broken and I am not going to repair it anymore
                    - Had an Audi Quattro 2.8 as company car for 2 years. Very nice because it was a free ride (if not a little thirsty with 17-18 mpg) . Unfortunately lease was up and no new one. I would not buy one if it was my own money.
                    - Latest acquisition is a Hyundai Santa Fe. I would have preferred a Sedan, maybe Honda Accord, but needed a tow vehicle for the Se7en. The Hyundai appears to be a real good car. Inexpensive to buy, 10 year warranty and after almost 2 years of ownership no complaint whatsoever.
                    - next car? I don't know. My wife likes the Elise......

                    I guess my "philosophy" comes down to a choice of:
                    - transportation (work, shopping etc) to be the least expensive mode
                    - fun (it better be good)


                    P.S.: Just thinking about it, even with the Se7en I stay on the "weird" side :?


                    • #12
                      This should be fun; in chronological order roughly
                      Honda 90, Honda XL185 (ported, bored & Suppertrapp), 2 Chevy Chevettes, '72 Monte Carlo, '77 Thunderbird, '82 Toyota 4x4, Yamaha DT200 and XT600, '82 Suzuki 1100 Katana(152MPH), '82 Yamaha 750, '85 Ford Tempo, '84 Mercury Topaz, Yamaha TZ250(amazing bike), Volvo 760GLE(never go there), '90 Cherokee(1st 4x4 w/ABS. . . ouch), '92 Caterham HPC, Volvo 240DL, Dodge Colt, Dodge Grand Caravan (my business vehicle), '99 Jeep Wrangler, '99 Cherokee, and the latest money pit my '63 Thunderbird(400+hp, $1000 car).
                      Everyone is telling me I should have at least one practical car, I just can't decide on which one? Thinking of an original Mini with a Hayabusa engine out back.

                      The reason I bought my Seven, grade 7 English class they showed The Prisoner and I was hooked. Told myself I was going to get that car. Talked to a dealer on the east coast and was ready to fly down and drive it back; he told me I should have no problem taking it back over the border. Well the day I was to book the flight I found a dealer locally that I had never heard of. He had one used for sale but as I went out to look at it on a Saturday it was sold by the time I arrived. He took me aside and asked if I was serious, afterall I just turned 25. He had an HPC, less than a year old with less than 3000 miles on it. He wanted to warn me that it was a lot more car than the SS he just sold. Well he brought it in for me to look at and in 2 days I gave him the cheque. I'll never forget that test drive. He, the dealer/mechanic was an british ex roadracer and made me want to learn more and really learn how to drive.
                      If anyone wants to borrow my collection of Prisoner DVDs let me know.


                      • #13

                        In my previous post, I just highlited the more interesting parts of my car history. After Gert's detour down European small car memory lane, I feel the need to elaborate.

                        Thus, in order of ownership:

                        1976 Renault 16TS
                        Got it from dad when I managed to complete the sisyfos task of getting a license in Sweden. Dad always emphasised that the "S" in TS was for Sport. It didn't really show...

                        1986 Honda CRX 16i.
                        My first purchased car. 125hp and a blast to drive. I am suprised I didn't die in that car as I was 19 at the time. Did my first engine tinkering in that one.

                        1989 Peugeot 405
                        Totally non descript company car.

                        1972 Volvo 164
                        Volvo's old luxury car with a 3 litre B30 6 cylinder engine. Red leather interior and absolutely rust free. A lovely car that I may actually buy once again.

                        1992 BMW 316i (Not worth the image link)
                        Another non descript company car. I had to choose between this and the Peugeot 205 GTI. The choice was actually quite easy. Yes, that generation of the 3 series came with a 1.6 litre engine in Europe. You didn't miss much.

                        1983 Mitsubishi Whatever Turbo
                        Junk car I got from my father in law when I needed wheels but didn't want to get poor. Lasted for a few months until the head gasket blew. The turbo was functional for a total of ten seconds during a very surprised green light takeoff.

                        Renault 5 TS
                        Another temporary car, which I actually liked. Small, very primitive, but honest.

                        I bought it when France was on the major shit list in Europe for restarting their nuclear bomb test program in the Pacific ocean, so I made it a sticker saying "Vive la bombe!".

                        It took me through my commute for a couple of months before I bought a....

                        1992 Citroen XM V6-24v

                        A nightmare and a bliss in the same car. A two tonne/200 (DIN) hp tank.
                        This car was the height of french complexity. Once a friend was going to borrow the car and wondered if there was anything special he needed to think about. The start sequence list I wrote for him had 24 steps(!).

                        Some features not seen in other cars:
                        - It was a hatchback, so it had an extra interior rear window going from the ceiling to just behind the rear seat in order to protect the passengers from a cold draft when the trunk was open.

                        - The armrest between the front seats was electrically adjustable.

                        - The transversely mounted 3litre V6 engine had drive belts on both ends. I never managed to dig deep down enough to figure out how the hell they did it.

                        - The hydropneumatic suspension had a stiff and soft mode depending on if you were accelerating, turning or braking hard. This mode could be monitored by tuning your radio to 635Khz (or something like that) and listen to the noise that the pulsed solenoid made when it enabled the extra sphere.

                        - Electrically heated rear seats. In 1992!

                        - A cruise control in the form of a joystick located just left of the gear level.
                        Forward - Faster.
                        Backward - Slower.
                        Right - Set.
                        Left - Coast.
                        Extremely cool.

                        - A new error message every day in the LED display. These messages were so worrying that I reconfigured the car to give them in German instead of English (or french, god forbid).

                        - A key pad located just back of the gear level. Used to enter a four digit pin code to start the car.

                        And then we had the standard citroen features on top of that:
                        - Hydropneumatic suspension. Adjustable height by a lever in the center console. Always level, always comfortable. The car was pumped up from its resting position when you started it.

                        - Diravi steering system. Start the car and let it idle. Turn the steering all the way over to the left. Release the wheel and watch it self center with the car standing still. Perfect for tight parking situations. I actually want that to this day. The only issue was that the servo function was too slow. Sometimes when you really had to turn the wheel fast (such as to avoid an accident), the hydraulic system couldn't keep up and the wheel became very, very heavy.

                        For the record: There are 24 of these beasts in the U.S. (as gray imports). If you ever feel daring, try to buy one.

                        - 1996 Citroen Xantia Activa
                        Smaller Citroen that had an active suspension (much tooted as a world premiere on the new Mercedes SL).
                        It didn't roll. Period. Enter a roundabout and go faster and faster. The car was level. Slam the brakes from 100 kph to a complete (jolty) standstill. The car didn't tilt forward an inch.
                        Open the door when it was idling and use the door as a lever to rock the car. You got two oscillations and then the car locked up and wouldn't move.
                        Sit on the right front corner of the car, and the suspension would give way. After about 2 seconds, the car would pump up the the corner you were sitting at to be level again.
                        Very, very kewl system. Extremely good handling.

                        -1965 Porsche 356 SC Convertible.
                        I was looking for a 1968/1969 Mercedes 280SL (the Pagoda) when I stumbled upon this one. A bit rusty, but a lovely lovely old car.
                        Brought it with me when I moved to the states. Sold it when I got the Caterham.

                        - 1989 Citroen XM V6 24v
                        I just couldn't get enough of them. This one was more flaky, though. Sold it when I moved to the states.

                        - 2001 Nissan Altima. (Don't bother with links)
                        I needed a car when I first moved here. Boring, but dependable.

                        - 2002 Caterham Super Seven SV.
                        No comments needed.

                        - 1989 Volvo 740 Turbo Station wagon (Not worth it)
                        Started to fix it up when I got it back with a blown main bearing from the local lube shop. I suspect that they forgot to pour new oil into the engine before they started it. Gave it away. >sigh<

                        - 2002 Volvo S60 2.4T (You know what it looks like)
                        Took over the lease from a co-worker.

                        - 2004 Nissan 350Z (Ditto)
                        It was time to get something comfortable and fast. Probably the best price performance ratio in the sports car class out there right now. Still waiting to get out on the track with it.

                        The S60 lease expires in may, and I am thinking of going vintage again.
                        A Volvo P1800ES would be nice. Or anohter 164. I am still pondering what top get. Suggestions are most welcome.

                        /Magnus F.


                        • #14
                          - A cruise control in the form of a joystick located just left of the gear level.
                          Forward - Faster.
                          Backward - Slower.
                          Right - Set.
                          Left - Coast.
                          Extremely cool.
                          This is similar to the system that both BMW & Porsche used back in the days when they were logical people making driver's cars, not electro-gadgeteers building brand and making button-laden steering wheels like their marketing people tell them to. The BMW / Porsche type is a stalk just below the wiper stalk and it works like an accelerator pedal. Forward = faster , backward = slower, vertical motion = cancel. No extra on / off / set / blah / blah / blah buttons. This same system can be seen at this time on the very expensive MB GT cars like the SLs etc.

                          That Froggie sounds like it was a really cool car.

                          The P1800? Go for it. Other Volvos? Well, I understand your connection but you'll be forcing me to regale you w/ my "American Volvo drivers are the WORST DRIVERS IN THE WORLD" (like, uh, my dad) stories. Don't go there.
                          A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


                          • #15
                            In roughly chronological order:
                            1967 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 series 1 -- First car at 18 years old!
                            1979 Mazda RX-7
                            1962 VW Beetle Ragtop -- Huge canvas sunroof, not a convertible.
                            1972 BMW 2002
                            1962 (?) Cadillac CDV -- w/ 518 c.i.d. V8
                            1973 Buick Le Sabre
                            1970-something Honda Civic
                            1964 Chrysler Newport convertible -- Push-button automatic that could be push-started (or so I was told), left-hand threaded wheel studs on one side, christened "Jesus H. Chrysler"; joked that I had to sell it because I got tired of waving off the Navy pilots trying to land on its "flight deck" every time I drove past Moffett Field NAS in Sunnyvale.
                            1994 Honda Accord
                            1968 Wife -- Not a car, I know, but can have a pronounced effect on any cars owned/not owned from this point on... :)
                            1995 Honda Accord
                            ??? 2005 Caterham ??? -- I'm workin' on it!
                            - Sean